Why Researchers Are Exploring Antibodies From Recovered Patients For Possible Treatment And Prevention Of COVID-19

Is there a Covid-19 treatment that can treat critically ill, hospitalized patients, on the one hand, and protect healthcare workers on the other? Passive immune therapy has the potential to do both—immediately, and with major improvements over time. Broadly speaking, it involves giving antibodies, in this case specific to Covid-19 virus SARS-CoV-2, to people who need them.

The first stage is sera from convalescents. The second is purified antibody fractions that are safer and more potent, but also achievable—hopefully by summer. The third is monoclonal antibodies, which will take more time but is already on the fast track. Each approach mobilizes antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in unique ways, with varying degrees of safety, speed, and efficacy—and all three must be explored.

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Originally published on Forbes (April 6, 2020)

© William A. Haseltine, PhD. All Rights Reserved.